A key component of its success has likely been its consistent messaging across various platforms. A note on the company’s home page reads, “We remain committed to the health and well-being of our partners and customers. Learn more.”
The Starbucks mobile app includes “A reminder on facial coverings” which reads, “In our stores, we respectfully request you wear a facial covering and comply with local public health mandates to protect the health of our customers and partners.” Starbucks posts its partner (employee) communications online so that the public can read them. This transparency can only improve the public perception of the brand.
Store signage reinforces the same message, directing traffic in one door, and out another, with stickers on the floor where people should stand in order to stay a safe distance away from one another. Signs note the requirement that if a certain number of people (based on store size) are already inside, new arrivals should wait outside.
What is perhaps most similar between coffee shops such as Starbucks and health clubs is that traditionally both have strived to become what is known as the “third place.”
“Starbucks built much of its brand on being what former CEO Howard Schultz described as a unique ‘third place,’ the place between work and home that customers could go to meet friends, get work done, or simply hang out,” notes Inc.
In a June letter to stakeholders, the company’s leaders wrote, “No matter the format, we know that the Starbucks ‘third place’ experience occurs from the moment a customer envisions their daily Starbucks Experience to wherever they enjoy that Starbucks beverage.”
These days, many people have just one place—home. Some of your members are working from home indefinitely, and others may be out of work due to the pandemic. So for some, your club will become the second place (instead of the third). The more you can demonstrate that your club is a clean, safe, and healthy place to be, the sooner and more frequently your members will return.
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